CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University led all Pacific Northwest colleges and universities in the 2009 Recyclemania, a nationwide competition to see which institutions can recycle the most. The event took place Jan. 18 through March 28.

In the Per Capita Classic (competition for the highest weight of recyclables per person) OSU ranked No. 1 among all Oregon and Washington schools, and in the Gorilla Prize category (competition for the highest cumulative weight recycled) OSU ranked No. 1 in Oregon and No. 2 in the Pacific Northwest.

This year 510 schools competed from all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and Canada, collectively recycling 69.4 million pounds. When taking into account all 10 weeks (including the first two, which were trial weeks not considered in final rankings), OSU recycled 385,132 pounds (192.6 tons). Diverting this material from the landfill not only helps the environment, but also saves OSU money on waste disposal.

“Another benefit from competing in Recyclemania is the increased awareness about recycling and waste prevention on campus,” said Andrea Norris, recycling program assistant and coordinator of outreach for the competition. “By putting on events, displaying results in the Memorial Union Quad, and making it our goal to recycle as much as possible, we were able to reach more people and keep waste prevention on the top of people’s minds.”

Campus Recycling’s efforts support OSU’s commitment to sustainability by conserving natural resources, reducing waste, and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions from solid waste. Campus Recycling is becoming more sustainable in other ways such as consolidating routes to save gas, investigating commingled recycling in the residence halls, working with Allied Waste to begin collecting organic material for composting, and sponsoring educational events such as the annual Earth Week celebration.

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Andrea Norris,